050711 New Yorker

December 29, 2014

A (somewhat-ironic open) letter to the “poetry editors” of The New Yorker, for their reifying leadership in nearly every aspect of the Poetry Industrial Complex:

The New Yorker tends to run bad poems by excellent poets […] many well-known poets don’t write what’s known in the poetry world as “the New Yorker poem” — basically an epiphany-centered lyric heavy on words like “water” and “light.” [The second] is what you might call “the home job”: the magazine’s widely noted fondness for the work of its own staffers and social associates.

I would suggest that a scarcity of nouns is not the problem. Apparently, it’s a scarcity of new things to write poems about.

If The New Yorker really wanted people to read the poetry they’d put it in the cartoons.


“i am a poet, i describe life:
virtue, vice, pleasure, pain
beauty, romance, romantic strife
using the unequivocable language
of metaphor, allegory, and
other literary device”

fuck that noise, i’m done playing nice
if that’s poetry, then i’m Saddam and Satan is my wife
examine the arbitrary free-form prose scene in a new light:
vapid lines, candied language by day are romance by night
that pollution and dilution leaves me spoiling for a fight

what do these snobs know about suffering for art?
care-free vapid lines, void of meaning
delivered DOA with voice like a dull fart
no rhymes, empty adjectival crimes
embarrassing and forced pseudo-quasi poetry
from a creative rut cloaked in unexamined class
like a house of cards crass, blowing in the wind
entitlement above the law, capricious strut, so walk
these thin-skinned fragile egoes with a glass jaw.

factory-fresh poet wannabes can accuse me of being mean,
or scoff and cry for mommy when i call them unweened
unoriginal rhymethieves, unheard, unseen,
my response to the whining of these poet-type beings:
that’s just the way the world is,
and if they can’t take the heat emotionally,
and shoulder some of the responsibility,
they best be getting out of the biz
post-haste, read that S.T.F.U. A.S.A.P.

Open Letter of Resignation

September 21, 2009

PLEASE NOTE:  Many readers have stumbled across this post while searching for example letters of resignation.  I am not suggesting the below resignation as a template or model if you are considering resigning from your workplace for similar issues.  Please be aware that there are repercussions for resigning publicly, and for calling people on their crap if they have more institutional power than you do.  One of the ways you can protect yourself from retaliation is to give your boss a letter of resignation that does not implicate or accuse them or wrong-doing.  Unlike the below.

Below is the letter of resignation I just sent.  I was doing anti-violence work under an executive director who has her entire staff terrified and purges the organization of all employees who show anything other than submissive assent to her.  Why does she bully her employees?  According to some recent peer-reviewed research in social psychology, it’s because she feels both incompetent AND empowered.  Scary combination, and completely unacceptable and inappropriate anywhere — let alone within the context of anti-violence and social justice work!

UPDATE (9/21):  The SATF Executive Director’s response is included, below.

UPDATE (9/24):  Another follow up from the Executive Director, which includes a message that Eva Kutas, Board President, sent to the SATF staff (but not the listservs).

UPDATE (10/7):  A follow up that came through RAINN, entitled “Just What Are We Afraid Of?”

September 21, 2009

To Whom It May Concern,

It is with a heavy heart that I hereby submit my resignation as Prevention Specialist of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force. Read the rest of this entry »

“Yes WE Can.”

November 8, 2008

If you haven’t heard of Damali Ayo yet…you have now!

She wrote an amazing open letter to the People of the United States of America (the “other PotUS”) about how we, the people, need to STAY INVOLVED in order to push for the changes we need:  tax relief for normal folks, healthcare reform, energy independence, green-collar jobs, food security (or here to listen), universal access to higher education, etc.  It’s on us — all of us.  WE have work to do.  Let’s do it together.  The letter is below, in full.

Read the rest of this entry »